Minor magic: Connery hails lethal finishing of Sheehan

Minor magic: Connery hails lethal finishing of Sheehan
Cork captain Sean O'Leary Hayes lifting the cup. Picture: Denis Minihane.

THE scenes at the end of the Munster minor championship final, at Thurles on Sunday, were jubilant. Cork players, management, and fans enjoyed this superb victory over Clare.

Cork won their semi-final replay, against Tipperary, six days prior to this decider at Páirc Uí Rinn, and 8,000-plus fans showed the interest this team has generated.

Na Piarsaigh star, Daire Connery, has been a leading player for his county all season and his six-point contribution in this decider showed his all-round class. Connery was superb in both games against Tipperary and believes Cork’s ability to grind out a win in the replay laid the foundation for their win in the final.

“I thought we left it behind us in the first game, against Tipperary, but, after getting over them, there was big belief we could finish the job against Clare and I think we did so in style,” said Daire Connery.

Clare’s Keith White with Brian Roche and Daire Connery of Cork. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Clare’s Keith White with Brian Roche and Daire Connery of Cork. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

The Cork team assembled last October and Connery says their success in Munster is down to hard graft.

“We knew Tipp would be a tough hurdle to overcome, but the attitude in the squad is spot-on and that’s from the players that start to the lads that come off the bench,” added Connery.

The preparation for this final was intense, but at no stage did Connery feel they would lose the final.

“It is not arrogance or cockiness, because we knew Clare would be a tough outfit, as they beat Limerick easily enough. On the other side of the coin, we were confident we had the firepower to match them and, thankfully, we came up trumps and now we are only a game away from an All-Ireland final.”

Fellow club and county teammate, Evan Sheehan, was substituted in both Tipperary games, but scored 2-2 and ended up man of the match.

Cork's Brian Turnbull, Evan Sheehan and Ger Millerick celebrate after the game. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Cork's Brian Turnbull, Evan Sheehan and Ger Millerick celebrate after the game. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

“Evan is a class act and I think a blip happens to all forwards, but it’s the players that turn up on the big days are the ones to watch and he is that category. We all know when Evan gets a sight of goal he is lethal and I think his two goals in this final were sheer class.” 

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